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THE APPLIANCE OF SCIENCE
THE APPLIANCE OF SCIENCE
When I threw the plastic bag on to the seat of the car I saw the glue sticks fall out. So what, no big deal.
I drove back to the factory and went back to work.
The glue sticks stayed in the car. I had bought them to fix something at home over the weekend.
Five o’clock in the evening, time to go home, I opened the car. On the seat there was this white pancake kind of shaped thing. “Wha? What the hell is that?”
I looked closer. “Funny, never seen nothing like that before. But what is it? Where did it come from?”
I touched it ---- plastic. I tried to pick it up ---- stuck.
Then I noticed the plastic bag that the glue sticks had came in. “What? No, surely that’s not possible. I don’t care how hot the sun in Trinidad is, it can’t have melted fuckin’ glue sticks.”
But it was true, as unlikely as it may seem, the heat of the midday sun inside the closed up car had actually melted the glue sticks. Wow! And now that the sun had gone down the melted blob had set hard again. Cool!
Well not so cool really, for you see, the solidified blob was now stuck firmly to my cars upholstery.
I tried all different ways to take it off -----without damaging the upholstery. Knives, forks, screwdrivers, wire brush.
Then of course I tried heat. The hair dryer, the hot knife, the hot fork, the hot screwdriver. Although this method was in general more successful, in some ways it was actually making it worse.
Come on, think! ------- Think!
Wait a minute. -------- Yes...Yes....That’s it! --------- The appliance of science!
I got a glass of water, sprinkled some on top of the problem and let it soak into the fabric of the upholstery around the blob. I waited a minute or two then did the same again, and then again, until I reckoned that it had soaked through all the way underneath the glue stick.
I was now ready for my secret weapon ------------THE MICROWAVE OVEN.
I opened the door of the microwave oven and jammed a pencil into the door catch to override the automatic safety shut off. I then turned the oven face down on top of the blob and switched on the power for about thirty seconds.
As you know, microwaves pass straight through plastic and glass without heating them. Water alone absorbs microwaves and converts them to heat.
When I lifted off the oven, I took hold of one corner of the solid plastic pancake and lifted it up effortlessly, leaving behind a clean, damp, steaming surface.